April 21, 2006, - 6:57 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: AMMERAH SAIDI, MUSLIM WOMAN PROTESTING THE GYM, DEFENDS ISLAMIC TERRORISTS, WON’T DENOUNCE HOMICIDE BOMBINGS, SAYS, “IF IT [AMERICA] FALLS TO ISLAM, SO BE IT.” (SEE COMMENTS.) ****
Americans must decide if we are going to willingly accept the imposition of others’ religious rules, or if we will stand up for our own freedoms while we still have them.
That is the debate at the center of America’s culture clash with Mid-Easterners who want to impose their Islamist mores on us–on our own shores. At least, it would be a debate, if we would not just immediately fold every time there is a challenge.
The latest example of the debate is Fitness USA gyms. The nationwide chain of gyms (headquartered in suburban Detroit) is the latest target of Islamic extremists who insist it impose separate workout days or a partition of the sexes.
But the name of the company is clearly “Fitness USA,” not “Allah’s Gym USA.” A Detroit Free Press article, written by resident Islamist reporter Niraj Warikoo, does not tell the whole story, but it is useful as background (if you can read between the lines).
While it is true that many Fitness USA gyms have separate workout days for men and women, not all do. The gym’s Lincoln Park facility has an expensive cardio area that it has chosen to make available to both sexes at all times. Muslim women who do not want to work out at Fitness USA’s Dearborn crowded facility are now demanding that nearby Lincoln Park use gender-specific workout days or impose a partition in the middle of the cardio area. It cannot be done and would prevent non-Muslims who want to work out every day from doing so to meet the Muslim women’s self-centered demands.
The Muslim women told Detroit’s local NBC affiliate newscast that if Fitness USA does NOT meet their demands, they will stage pickets in front of the gym. While Dearborn is a 30% Arab city (not 30% Muslim), Lincoln Park is much less so. Yet these women want to impose their will on the gym. They signed an agreement that did not provide for their stringent single-sex sequestration requirements. As an attorney who has represented gyms, I know well that there is a reason the gym has a contract (which the Muslim women apparently don’t think applies to them–they’re special).
There is a solution for the Muslim women, which they selfishly refuse to utilize. They can work out completely covered up (as a Muslim woman at my gym does) just as they are covered up when they walk in front of men on the street and elsewhere. But they don’t want to. The women showed a the local Detroit TV newscast that they prefer to wear their skimpy, immodest work-out clothes, which they do not want to wear in front of men. And, hey, they don’t want to get their hijab headscarves all sweaty. They would rather impose their will on the gym than discomfort themselves in the least.
Too bad. That’s not the way America works. This is a private business that has chosen its own rules, not Islam’s rules.
If there is such a large market for what these women want, then the free market will take care of it–perhaps they can open their own single-sex or partitioned gym. Or they can always rent an old Hanoi Jane Fonda video and work out (well, Fonda actually binged and purged and pretended to work out) at home.
But that’s not, unfortunately, what many American Muslims want. They want to impose their will on the rest of us. And therein lies the problem of which the gym story is just a microcosmic example. We can either be a free country or an Islamic one, not both. They want the latter.
Ready to wear your burqa to the gym and have the cardio room partitioned? Me neither. Tough luck for those who want it that way for all of us. For now.
**** UPDATE, 04/26/06–Weakness USA: Dhimmi Gym Caves to Extremist Muslim Chicks
Tags: America, attorney, Debbie Schlussel, Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Jane Fonda, Jane Useful, Lincoln, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Park facility, MUSLIM WOMAN PROTESTING THE GYM, NBC, Niraj Warikoo, P. GILKEY/ Detroit Free Press, resident Islamist reporter, United States